Some people have crazy nights in high school that they wish would never end. In Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, director Peter Sollett captures all the magic and excitement of one of these unforgettable nights as a small group of friends spends the evening in the Big Apple.
The film, based on the novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, centers around two love-deprived teens whose lives collide as they search New York City for their favorite band’s unannounced show.
Nick (Michael Cera) plays bass for the band The Jerk-Offs and has recently been dumped by his girlfriend. Norah (Kat Dennings) is the daughter of a successful music producer.
At one of Nick’s shows, Norah asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for five minutes. Recently dumped by his narcissistic girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena), Nick plays along and an unpredictable night full of rock and romance begins.
Cera struck comedic gold with his last two films, Juno and Superbad, in which he played a socially awkward adolescent. Each movie earned more than $100 million at the box office. Cera said he hopes to go for the hat trick with his latest “uncomfortable teen” role.
Though he is a guitarist, playing a musican wasn’t what intitally attracted Cera to the movie. He said it was because he admired director Peter Sollett’s work in the critically acclaimed Raising Victor Vargas.
“I think Pete has a really authentic directing style,” said Cera. “He really captures this kind of one-night adventure — he does it really truthfully.”
Dennings, a 22-year-old Philadelphia native, has had similar acting experience with films such as Charlie Bartlett and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Though the role may be similar to her previous ones, she said part of Infinite Playlist’s appeal is its light-hearted nature.
“(The movie) feels, as you watch it, exactly like it felt making it. It just feels really adventurous and fun,” she said.
Cera and Dennings have a genuine spark, according to cinemablend.com. But the strength of this film does not lie solely in the talent of its two stars. The supporting cast includes Nick’s fellow bandmates and Norah’s hopelessly drunk best friend (Ari Graynor), who serves as comic-relief, according to newsblaze.com.
Infinite Playlist also includes several cameos, such as SNL’s Andy Samberg and Harold and Kumar’s John Cho.
The film has deep musical roots. It focuses on the indie rock scene, with on-screen appearances by Bishop Allen and folk rocker Devendra Banhart. The highly promoted soundtrack features tracks by these two as well as Vampire Weekend, who wrote an original song for the movie.
Manhattan nightlife serves as the backdrop for the film, adding a special aura to just about every scene.
Sollett said the city was perfect for this style of shooting.
“It seems like there are a lot of lights floating around … And those are actually just normal New York City traffic lights and street lamps, but with those lenses, everything starts to look very glorious,” he said in the production notes.
One critic from Mercurynews.com compared the film to classics such as Say Anything in that it perfectly portrays young love for this generation.
The film opens nationwide Friday and is rated PG-13.